October 31, 2010

"I'm sorry....I got caught."

A father is sentenced to 3 years, 4 months for sexually abusing his daughter over a 6 year period. With the mandatory "good behaviour," he is more than likely to be out and about in, say... 18 months. 

I remain flabbergasted by the justice system within New Zealand. Despite our country being close to the top of the international list for abusing children, we all still seem to shrug our shoulders when it's published - well, the Judges' sure do and as for Lawyers?  

Defence Counsel Steve Hembrow asked the man's "jail sentence not be crushing." Well, far be for the Judge to not adhere to the emotional well-being of child sex offenders as shown by the incredibly lenient sentence. 

What does it tell us when New Zealand's legal system can sentence someone to double that time for stealing a car? It says - cars are more valuable. 

Father made sex victim daughter pray for forgiveness | NATIONAL News

October 25, 2010

Disassociative Identity Disorder (DID)

I know, even before I complete the first sentence, that I am going to offend some people so, I guess, this is my apologetic introduction. I am going to write, admittedly, about a subject I know very little about and it's from that perspective that, I believe, a lot of other people share my confusion. Maybe some of the responses will go some way in clearing that up - maybe not. In any event, here goes...

A few weeks ago a fellow colleague and I were invited to a meeting to discuss an upcoming event. Neither of us knew the other members personally and I had never met any beforehand. All I knew was we were a group of women with two common causes: we were all sex abuse survivors and wanted to do something about it. The only true expectation I brought with me however, was the assumption that all who attended were well enough within themselves to be able to push a group out and onto the national stage and capable of creating an easier environment for those who might like to follow. Aside from that, I had no idea what the format would be, who would lead the discussions, what the protocol was or even if there was one. I did note that three psychotherapists were attending which, initially caused a little anxiety - I was worried some of my own issues would surface and I'd need to see one of them on a more private basis.  

A lot of things happened in the two nights we stayed together but one specifically stood out: Dis-associative Identity Disorder (DID) and the fact that one therapist had brought along quite a few of her own personal clients. They were also this Group's board and/or Trustee members. Now in here, lies two problems, for me anyhow. One being that these women may not have been well enough to deal with the issues we needed to address (some proved that point) and the other was, just where those boundaries are between a therapist and client. The latter is another issue I will discuss later. For now, I would like to talk about DID.

Now, immediately, I have an issue with this. I hate the word: Disorder. To me, it implies something being out of order, broken, or not where it should be. A lot of people diagnosed with DID would probably feel the same. Labels are, after all, a rather crude short-cut into a persona. So I initially went on the defence about this but only on that one shallow level - bloody labels. However, if I were to push the envelope a little further, I would also have to agree that if something was 'out of order,' identified as such, then it would automatically assume "it" could be put back into order, fixed, if you like. On that basis, maybe DID is a temporary state and ought to be treated as such.

So what would someone make of these women, for example, being in that "temporary state" for several years? Is this a reflection of the therapy they're having or...god forbid...an excuse to remain unwell? I know, it's a harsh accusation but one, if you will, I will work through - who knows where this will end up? 

So okay, they've been diagnosed, if you will, with DID. They have no qualms about addressing their multiple personalities as such, in public, in full view, and with the expectation that those, like me, accept this as completely normal. And that is where I stood out. I did not accept it as "normal".

To me, there is a disassociating and then there is this DID. The first one is removing one's self from a situation that is dangerous, even if those situations are flashbacks, memories, nightmares - talking in third person about events that were traumatic, in my view, is not only disassociation but a vital survival tool. It enables some sex abuse survivors, for example, to be able to give evidence without completely falling to pieces in the process. It's hard to be a good witness in an example like that - having to keep your head on your shoulders while the inside of you crumbles in despair. So yes, disassociating is vital. It stops the brain from overloading but you don't have to have been sexually abused to do this - we all do it. Days when you've found yourself at work and have no real idea of whether those traffic lights you drove through were really green or even tapping (unconsciously) to background music. But it doesn't mean you have a "disorder." It just means your brain constantly siphons incoming data and thank goodness it does - no one could survive the complete influx of information available. It's impossible.

However DID is different. It takes this disassociation one step further - it "identifies" those times when you're not conscious and names them. That, in itself, is not a bad thing. What I think is a little dangerous is when those identities are not only named but are given a completely independent status. For example, when someone acts out, maybe even gets abusive, that behaviour is simply blamed on another "identity." It wasn't Mary Jane, just her outer ego, if you will. Wouldn't life be grand if we could all blame someone/something else for what we did? That's my point. I don't think that's right. 

Like I said, I don't know terribly much about the intricate nature of this so-called "disorder" but even from a linguistic point of view - how can you "identify" with something you have "disassociated" from? If you have removed yourself (disassociated) then how on earth can you even identify it let alone give it a name, a personality, and shit loads of responsibility? Isn't that just using something/someone else as an excuse? 

One of the members of this group stood to introduce herself and ...her kids. I was stunned. There were no kids. Not that I could see. Not of the physical kind anyhow. "I am referring to my kids inside," she explained, pointing to her chest. I scanned the room looking for the other person who looked even mildly confused but there either wasn't any or I didn't look hard enough. I bit my tongue. Later that evening, one of those "kids" asked for permission to go to sleep. The therapist assured her she could. Aside from the rather unnerving nature of that, I was constantly confused as to who I was addressing at any given time - her or any one of the several "kids" she had. It seemed to me that any time someone disagreed with her, another personality would pop up and confront the issue before the "real" her returned to apologise for the "naughty inner child." 

Oh please! This surely is an insult to those who have DID - those who have absolutely no recollection of what they've done, like there has been a 100% takeover of that person's being and they, for one, remain the most confused out of everyone. Isn't that really what disassociation means - not knowing? What's to stop anyone who behaves badly, even dangerously, just shrugging their shoulders and blaming some other identity? Isn't it about accepting every part of all those personalities as YOURS and learning ways in which you can live, peacefully, with them all? I mean, what would people say to a child rapist that said" "Oh yeah, sorry about that. That's Geoff, my other personality. He does that sort of shit to kids. I don't though." Would we really be tip-toeing so much around this issue, this label, is it were paedophiles who wore it? 

I am no clearer on this topic than when I started. However, a friend recently suggested he had "Intermittent Explosive Disorder." WTF? Isn't that just being pissed off albeit intermittently? Do we really need a disorder for everything?

October 19, 2010

Fighting about the fight..

A girlfriend storms into my house: "I've bloody well left him," she yells, "and this time, there's no going back!" I switch the jug on - it's obvious we're going to need something hot. I wait for the sugar to dissolve, nod my head, and keep one of those 'I'm not judging' expressions while her tourettes thrash about the room, fighting for air space. 

"So what happened, why are you leaving?" She takes a deep breath. Oh no, this isn't good, I tell myself. I worry more when she nestles into a chair and an aura of complete calmness starts purring at her feet.

"Well, the other day, right..." She pauses, takes another deep inhale. "I was cleaning out the linen cupboard...(Oh no, you fool. Everyone knows, you never clean out a linen cupboard let alone with someone who may have an opinion on how to put all that shit back)... and I asked him to pass me the cotton sheets. Not the linen ones, the cotton ones...(I nod cause apparently there's a real big life altering difference)...but no, he hands me the linen ones and that's not all... (I'm starting to feel like I'm in a real cheap info-commercial - there's more?)...he looks at me as if to say, screw you, take the linen ones you bitch. I tell you, I'm over it, him, everything!"

"Cotton sheets huh?"

This is probably about the time she realised I'm the one on the end of this conversation and by all accounts, she doesn't look that impressed. "No! It's not about the sheets! It's about him!"

"Does he think it's about the sheets?"

She's loosing patience, I can tell - I am a very perceptive person, you know and besides, she just let out a massive groan, and there's not mistaking that.

"Look, forget the sheets. It's not about the sheets. It's about him. He's a control freak."

I have realised when people talk about their partners that the argument they think is responsible for the so-called break up is rarely the real reason why they feel like stringing them up to the nearest tree. The last argument, if you like, is symbolic of the underlying problem - the real issue that's got under people's skin is only masked by those little nagging scraps. They serve a purpose though, cause without them, people would actually have to deal with the matter at hand - in this case: control.

Now the real problem as far as I could see was, my girlfriend was an accountant. Not that the profession of juggling numbers and balancing books is a problem but for her it was a wonderful release. Everything had its place and there was no room for error. To top it off, she was rewarded handsomely for being so ...anal. Unfortunately, those same skills cannot be taken into a relationship. When she left work to start a family, the whole accountant thing was really thrown out the window. Now there was this little 'thing' she had to 'deal' with and no love nor money would make this little rug rat slide into one of her routines. The problem for some people is that when things cannot be controlled, they assume it is out of control, and that causes huge levels of anxiety. To counteract that horrible feeling, some people take to controlling things that can't fight back. Like dusting every day or cleaning out linen cupboards because there's a sudden cross contamination between cotton and linen. God help the person who tries to help.

Some wise person once said to me: "You need to pick your battles." Initially, I was defensive. Does this person think I fight too many, that I shouldn't, am I being overly defensive, what a bitch... you know, just the usual response kind of thing. When I had a child, I finally understood. I used to get my knickers in a real twist when my young daughter attempted to make her bed. I never went off at her but I would go in and straighten it up after she finished. There was something really annoying about having all four corners of the sheet ruffled up under the duvet. What I never saw was the undermining I was doing or that "I have failed" look on my young child's face. The days he spilt her juice on the floor and went out of her way to wipe it up with a clean towel, my jumper, and her favorite teddy bear, I smiled and said "Thanks hun." I will never forget the look of pride she had on her face and I smiled as she sat down and apologised to her teddy about the sticky juice on his face. 

Letting go of control can be as liberating for those with the reins as it can be for those being strangled by them.

"Que sera sera."

"Que sera sera." 

In English, it means, whatever will be, will be. It's also the lyrics to a popular 1956 song made famous by Doris Day. In my family, it was like one of those "hand me down" songs that you knew made no bloody sense but loved all the same - I mean, come one, what bloody housewife asks her husband: "Will there be rainbows, day after day?" Unless of course she's already downing that Prozac with a bottle of wine and her best friend has become the microwave.

But it does beg the question, do girls have to ask what their future will hold and whose to say, the people answering will always be right?

Now I am pretty sure in 1956, there was very little opportunities for girls to start running countries or being CEOs of some top telecommunications companies and we're told, that's progress right, a step forward for women, but at what cost? Most women in these positions, as far as I can see, are women only because they possess the same bits as I do. It's a gender thing - once they get into these positions of power, they forget the entitlement of actually being and thinking like a female as if that, in itself, were a detriment. 

Let's take Paula Bennett for example: A previously single mother, at age 17, on the Domestic Purpose Benefit who, by all accounts, struggled like shit to provide food for her kids on the small governmental hand-out. Hats off to her, she got herself educated through governmental funding and, after some years, found herself in the role of New Zealand's Minister of Social Development and Employment. Hooray - finally, a role model, right? Wrong - barely has this woman had a chance to rip her tights sliding down a Parliamentary banister when she's putting procedures in place to axe the 'Training Incentive Scheme." The same 'scheme' that enabled her to study. Now she's questioning just who should be entitled to the DP benefit and putting measures in place that will, eventually, see single mothers forced to work. 

Now, there is nothing wrong with getting single parents to work for a living. Just not realistic when, first of all, there is a shortage of jobs (ask any unemployed person without kids) and childcare facilities are practically non-existent, and, here's the clincher, if you leave your kids to go to work, especially under the age of 14, then you're committing a crime. Well fuck me! How's that working for you?

Despite which, I really feel like encouraging my daughter to get into politics. I mean she doesn't need to have brains and she certainly doesn't need to be beautiful. But opportunity she will have and, because I am her mother, so too will I - by sheer default. What a wonderful, glorious, system. Finally I can get to jet-set all over the place, sit back, order whatever I want off the airline menu, and not once have to think - shit, whose paying for this crap? I will finally stop worrying about whether my own child will have a retirement fund cause in politics, it's a done deal. She will have a lifetime of free travel, even if she flunks after a few terms in office, and if I were her, I'd eat at that 5-star government restaurant every night and twice on Sundays - after all, it's cheaper than having to part with the public cost of a lettuce these days. As for healthcare, no problem. It will be paid for by the tax people, as will any housing cost, power, childcare, transport, phone - you know, all those expenses that, for the general public are fast becoming luxuries. 

I will need to install into my child the absolute and critical reality that, no matter what she does, she will not be liked. Tough, it goes with job - she can be popular some other time. She will need to be slightly clever however. Not in that "life changing" way but in knowing what the rules are in government so she take it to the limit and never be held accountable. Oh don't worry, I will also tell her - if you get caught, say nothing. Worse thing that can happen, as with Donna Awatere, is a wee stint in jail or, as with Winston Peters, you just lay low for a while and then come back once the dust has settled.

Whatever will be, will be....

October 18, 2010

Money Making Saint

It's everywhere on the News - Australia gets their first Saint. Yippee! Look, I know you're probably sensing my sarcasm so I will try to keep it under wraps (for now) but only because there is a lot that can be said about this story - this historical event.

Firstly, let's deal with the facts: Mary MacKillop (15 January 1842-8 August 1909) was an Australian Roman Catholic nun who, together with Father Julian Tenison Woods, founded the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart and a number of schools and welfare institutions throughout Australia and New Zealand. On  17 October 2010, in front of a crowd of about 50,000 Catholics from around the world, Pope Benedict XVI canonised Mary MacKillop.

Thanks to the Internet, sexual abuse cases aren't limited to the community press nor the National media for those cases that are particularly daunting. Now, anyone can peruse the globe in search for case files and because of that, the issue of sex abuse, specifically around religious sectors, has become more widely known. That's not to say sex abuse has become more rife, just slightly less transparent. 

Religious practises, irrelevant of which God, is a business like any other. Its existence relies purely on donations that are generated through the service of teachings albeit that the Bible or another source. Without the regular services on Sunday, it would, literally, go out out business. However, it also doesn't make for sound business to have people ask for money in one hand while sexually abusing children in the other. 

So, how would a 'business' deal with such "bad publicity?" Well, MacDonald's produced the iconic clown to playfully lure their child audience while Mr Whippy droned our streets like the pied piper. Every business, if it wants to be successful, has a personified icon designed specifically to capture the essence of their business and the Catholic church is no exception. I must say, canonising this woman is a stroke of marketing genius. The fact that it took so long (more than 100 years after her death) is a whole other story...

If it was just a new Saint they were after - well, I wouldn't have too much of an issue but one that is now representative, a beckon if you will, for children who have been sexually abused? That's a bit bloody rich considering the amount of children that were, and are, abused by the Church. Here is a quote from the editorial  in America, the on-line United States' national Catholic weekly:
"Perhaps abuse victims, and all who desire justice and reconciliation in the church in the wake of the sexual abuse crisis, will see in St Mary MacKillop a powerful intercessor."
Say what? Sexual abuse victims aren't after an "intercessor - an "entreaty in favor of another, especially a prayer or petition to God in behalf of another, or mediation in a dispute". They don't need some statue mediating to God on their behalf about whether not a priest should be sexually abusing them or whether the Church should continue to rally around those accused as "one of their flock," albeit a really god-damned-strayed one at that! They just want the abuse to stop! It truly is not rocket science! 

And what about the Church excommunicating this woman in 1871 for exposing a paedophile priest! How's that working for them? Oh sure, they kind of took that back, years later, when the Priest responsible had a guilt trip on his death bed but come on! I think Mary MacKillop would be turning in her grave to see how the Church is now using that incident to troubleshoot their "sexual abuse crisis" and with such impeccable timing too:
"It may be providential that she walks back onto the world stage at this moment.
A nice use of wording I must say..."Providential: peculiarly fortunate or appropriate; as if by divine intervention; "a heaven-sent rain saved the crops"; "a providential recovery". Oh please, where's the bucket? 

Now before I start hearing people calling for my head on the block, I do need to add - Is Mary MacKillop an amazing woman? Hell yeah. She was not only amazing but she possessed courage and determination rarely seen in this day and age. Can you imagine being "kicked out" of an establishment you loved, out onto the streets, with no Government assistance, no food, nothing? Ironically, Mary went to live with a Jewish family when she was excommunicated - no Catholic family would help. Interesting point, that. 

So yes, I think she is an amazingly courageous woman who I believe would be devastated at the level of sexual abuse within her Church and moreover, within the very sub-group she struggled to create - the nuns with Saint Joseph's institutions. On one website alone, there are 42 separate entries for abuse against one such Catholic institution. The comments surrounding one case beg belief:
The retired teaching nun said she did not think she had a reputation with the pupils for having a terrible temper and being nasty. She agreed she had a strap but said she used it on very few children. St Josephs - Court case
Oh well that's okay then, it was only a "few" children. For goodness sake, it's like telling someone you're only half pregnant. Either you abused these children or you didn't, it's that simple. Maybe they should have brought in more witnesses, made the case stronger?  
Other witnesses have supported allegations of excessive discipline but their allegations are denied. Witness details - denied. Well that's a "no" then, and to add insult to injury, Chris Finlayson, Wellington High Court Defense Lawyer had to this to say:
"Making the Sisters of Mercy pay damages would be like making parents pay damages for the way a child was raised..."  Finlayson - court

God forbid that we should make anyone accountable for abusing children, least of all a religious sector. For now, I think the canonising of Mary MacKillop in order to whitewash the high levels of sexual abuse is a paramount insult to the woman's saintly career and it's an incredible insult to the victims of sexual abuse, especially those abused by the Church - firstly, their claims of sexually abuse are ignored and then, when it suits, the Church throw a woman in the firing line, call her a Saint, and ask for victims to not only be grateful but, you know, could you buy one of those McKillop Saint posters before you leave, or how about a purse with her face on it? She'll keep you safe.....burrr 

Did anyone see on Television just how much marketing paraphernalia was being pushed out the Church door? Millions of dollars! And I bet not a single dollar goes towards a single child. Go on - tell me...this Saint, whilst symbolic to those who believe, is nothing more than a gravy train, a financial dream come true for a Church struggling in this economic climate just like any other business. Once again, money made on the backs of sexual abuse. It's disgusting.  

For those wondering why I used a physical abuse example as opposed to a sexual abuse one - the Laws in New Zealand prohibit any details of child sexual abuse from being published. That way, we get to protect our vulnerable paedophilia society.

October 16, 2010

The Insatiable Moon

"Sometimes you have to let go
to see where you end up"

This has got to be my all time favourite movie of the year. It's has a simple, digestible, storyline but it's still big enough to fill the most shallowest of appetites. I spent a lot of my time watching the movie with my eyebrows pinned to the top of my head - as if that would stop me being moved by the characters or bawling like a baby. 

Ian Mune, who plays Norm, an alcoholic, won me over with his deep penetrable eyes that can only come from someone with years and experience of profound yet often hidden homelessness. Yet there was never a hint of shame. You do, however, get a rare insight into the sadness and the understanding of how alcohol, for Norm, had become a way of connecting to people - some he sees and others, we don't. Norm is like many people we  pass on the street and wonder why they don't just dry out. After watching this movie you get to understand - you'd be damn crazy to go through his life sober.

Greg Johnson, who plays Bob, the homeless shelter's live-in caretaker, was my next best character. He loves profanity and dishes it out like a boy racer on speed - fast and furious - but his heart is in the right place. It's refreshing to hear let alone see his non-PC approach to his boys who all have varying stages of mental illness. It would be easy to assume that Bob dislikes his job. He cooks, cleans, and mothers his seemingly thankless lodgers - at one point, cussing them out for not looking after their threadbare clothes and all the while, threading a needle to patch them up. But looks can be deceiving - Bob needs these men as much they need him. It's a pure delight.

I won't go into the storyline or what happens to these characters because I really urge you to see this New Zealand movie yourself. Not only because it helps support Kiwi actors and the movie industry as a whole but it's a glorious and heart-moving way of looking into the lives of the mentally ill and seeing - ironically - just how "normal" they really are. 

The Insatiable Moon - NZ details

Vindication - win over ACC

This is not a news story you'll find in mainstream media, probably because it's possesses a "feel good" factor and, sadly, that doesn't sell papers. Still, it doesn't deter from that fact that, yes, there are some (admittedly a small group) of people rallying against ACC and winning.

It's a shame that it took "Rachel" and her husband to exhaust "their savings, default on their rent many times, [become] indebted to utility providers, [and finding themselves having to sell] furniture to pay their bills while fighting [ACC for] weekly compensation" but, unfortunately, most times, that's what it takes. And no, Rachel was not one of those complacent people. She did everything possible to assist in the evaluation of her claim, even paying for psychiatric assessments herself - you know, cause they're the all encompassing reasoning behind whether a claim should even be looked at let alone granted. 

The upshot, from an independent review found ACC "unreasonably delayed" processing her claim for 10 months. They were ordered to accept her claim and give her those 10 months backdated in weekly compensation. It's a win for the client but, yet again, at an extraordinarily high price. The irony is the awarded cost of $1985 to Rachel to cover "case preparation, travel costs and a psychiatric assessment. I say ironic because if a little unknown Joe Bloggs, like Rachel, can do all that for less that two grand, how is it those other assessors, attributed to ACC, charge, on average $10,000? 

Maybe they should go ask Rachel how she managed to do just that if money is such an "issue" with ACC.

Whakatane Beacon: Abuse victim ‘vindicated’ by win over ACC

October 13, 2010

Disciplinary Tribunal - a crock of bull

The Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal hears and determines disciplinary proceedings brought against health practitioners. To date, there are 11 official complaints before the Tribunal - a 100 per cent increase from the previous year. This is an obvious indication that offences are not only increasing but that perhaps the Tribunal's disciplinary measures are failing to deter crime. And it's not hard to frown upon this profession or what method they use in actually determining punishment.

Case One:
  • A doctor was found guilty of 25 charges of possessing objectionable material - an external hard drive which contained over 400,000 files, 290,000 of which related to images of young girls in explicit sexual poses - and one charge of distributing an objectionable publication.
    • He was granted name suppression
    • His was suspended from practising for nine months 
    • Sentenced to four months' home detention 
    • In addition, he is to comply with ongoing counselling, ongoing oversight by the health committee of the Medical Council, and undergo a psychiatric assessment confirming fitness to practise before he was re-registered. 
    • He was also ordered to pay $6000 costs.

  • A doctor was found guilty of conducting medicals when he was not allowed to.
  • A doctor was found guilty of 26 "indecent assault" charges on 10 female spanning 21 years. 
    • Name suppression was lifted. His name is Thermal Fernando.
    • His license was cancelled
    • He was ordered to pay $6,750 costs to the PCC
    • He was ordered to pay $5,750 costs to the Tribunal.
    • http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10548928
    • Unhappy with the "lame" sentencing, the complainants took the matter to Court:
      • Fernando was found guilty on all charges
      • Ordered to pay $29,000 reparation
      • Sentenced to three years, two months (Due to be released January 2010)
      • Fernando was released on December 2008 - 2 years one month short of full sentence 

  • A doctor was found guilty of sexual misconduct. He had an affair with one of his adult female patients whilst acting as the family practitioner. The husband laid the complaint.
In summary:

Four random cases from the Tribunal above. The two doctors that had their license cancelled  - one for indecently assaulting 10 women over a 21 year period and the other for having a consensual affair with a patient - received the same punishment. It seems to be me that the Tribunal frown upon marital affairs with the same vengeance as they do a Doctor who systematically assaults unwilling patients over a 21 year period. In this case, it would appear that a husband's broken trust is equivalent to 10 physically abused women. 

The one case that I cannot fathom is the seemingly brutal (by comparison) punishment of a doctor giving medicals. His punishment was three times more severe than the Doctor caught on 25 charges of containing illegal and offensive sexual material on his computer and selling it. The latter was also granted name suppression so none of those suspecting parents out there will ever know who this offender is. It also begs the question of, if any of these men were NOT doctors, what form of criminal charges would they be given? It seems to be that the white coats are more than just a mere uniform - they're a disguise to whitewash true justice and true consequence.

No Power behind Promises

On October 5 2010, Justice Minister Simon Power announced "improvements" to the current ways in which defendants gain name suppression within New Zealand, claiming it will be "harder to get" under the new regime. The decision was made shortly after Camerson Slater, Whaleoil blogger, was convicted of breach of suppression orders for publishing the names of celebrity defendants. 

But has anything really changed?

Today, the Medical Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal has censured "a doctor," for having sex with one of his teenage patients. Unfathomably, this is not a legal Court case. Don't ask me why. It's a little like Priests who abuse children. None of them see the inside of a Court room either, and now, neither do doctors. Instead, this particular "professional" was fined the maximum $1000, required that a health professional act as a mentor for three years and ordered to pay $62,666.86 in costs. In addition, they granted him permanent name suppression. 


Now according to Simon Powers statement, just over a week ago, things were suppose to be "harder to get" and even a local legal firm confirms an order for permanent name suppression is difficult to get. "It is used sparingly as there is a strong presumption by the court that it is in the public interest to make the names available." 

Difficult to get? I don't think so and what of that "in the public interest" bit? Surely, knowing a doctor has a preference for sex with teenage girls is something any parent would like to arm themselves with in their attempt to safeguard their children, surely. 

The only slight change in this story is the New Zealand Medical Council committee deliberating for a long time before making their decision. Apparently, that's news - they don't usually take long to protect 'one of their own' when they've committed a criminal act. Equally unusual is the committee's reluctance to grant name suppression - it was given in any event, so all's well that ends well, right?

Maybe, just maybe, the problem is the new  name suppression law changes won't actually be "included" in a bill set to be introduced to Parliament before the end of the year. Goodness me, it doesn't take that long when they want to introduce those infamous internal wage increases. I'm yet to see something like an 'introduction' to change these, then some months before they're considered before the cronies, and then unanimously carried, actioned, made Law, published, and then implemented... I'm pretty sure they just say "Oi, who wants more dosh? and then count the hands that pop up.

If only every Law was as easy as that.

As a parting shot: It took this woman eight years - the time between reporting the incident to gaining this ruling - to get this ridiculous and "lame" decision. 

Marty Cooper - the inventor of the mobile phone

Meet the man who invented the mobile phone and lord, what an eyesore that thing is. I remember getting my first one - for work. After all, who on earth could afford one personally, right? I mean it cost over 2000-pounds at the time ($6,000) and came with a massive charger the size of a car battery which, unlike a car one only lasted a minutes on charge. 

The concept of the hand-held phone was Marty's brainchild, and with the help of his Motorola team, the first handset was born in 1973 weighing in at two kilos. 

"The battery lifetime was 20 minutes, but that wasn't really a big problem because you couldn't hold that phone up for that long." And we complain about what again?
BBC News - Meet Marty Cooper - the inventor of the mobile phone

October 12, 2010

Pregnant women warned off Te Papa tour

When I initially read this, I went head first into defensive mode. How dare they discriminate against women for something as natural as being pregnant or menstruating. 

Reminds me of that weird rule men have about women aboard boats - somehow and I don't know how, pregnant and bleeding women sink ships apparently or, even worse, scare off fish. Now, let's run with that idea for a little. If men say women can scare fish off, aren't they kind of saying women are really powerful and that, maybe, just maybe, the fish are damn smart, inter-connected to all things considered of nature and that by our mere presence, we can determine an outcome? Awesome! I mean, don't get me wrong, I do think some budding fishermen have kind of meddled with this cultural belief just so their girlfriends and wives never get to know just how big that fish really was but I also have to acknowledge that the belief, in its true form, does still actually exist. 

Feminist blogger Boganette said she was disgusted by the museum's stance. "It's disgusting that in this day and age women can be told they're 'forbidden' ...[...]... It's a completely archaic belief that is oppressive to all women."  She said she would encourage women to attend. 

Now look, I've just walked into my bathroom and grabbed a bottle of paracetamol... no, there's no link to Boganette here people... This little pill promises to do something but it also issues a warning - don't use if you're pregnant. If I really wanted to, I could Goggle the damn thing and come up with a string of evidence that says... oh, don't be doing that if you're 'up the duff' just as much as I could find evidence stating the opposite. The point is, they issue a warning. They aren't refusing to sell me the pill. They just respect the fact that there is a greater risk of 'something untoward' happening if I were pregnant etc. Ultimately, it's my choice.  

There is no difference, as far as I am concerned, with the likes of Te Papa issuing a warning for those pregnant and menstruating women to refrain from attending an exhibition which could be spiritually detrimental to them, in their current condition. Yes, I know for some of you that all sounds a little like witch craft stuff but who is to say that spiritual well-being is not as important as the physical one, and unless you know a lot about spiritual health, are you prepared to let ignorance lead you instead? I mean, I don't know terribly much about brain surgery. Oh, okay, I know nothing about brain surgery but I would take advice and guidance from someone who did. Wouldn't you?

Pregnant women warned off Te Papa tour - national | Stuff.co.nz: